CategoryA01. Fiction: series or film
EntrantGREY GROUP Shanghai, CHINA
Entrant Company GREY GROUP Shanghai, CHINA
Contributing Company GREY GROUP Shanghai, CHINA
Production Company ORANGE FUN Shanghai, CHINA
Production Company 2 MOVING APES STUDIO Subang Jaya, MALAYSIA


Name Company Position
Canon Wu Grey Group Shanghai Chief Creative Officer
Jonathan Lim Grey Group Shanghai Creative Director
Christopher Lee Grey Group Shanghai Copywriter
Rosie Wang Grey Group Shanghai Copywriter
Yuki Xu Grey Group Shanghai Art Director
Sasa Yu Grey Group Shanghai Art Director
Ran Su Grey Group Shanghai Designer
Joseph Tsang Grey Group Shanghai Business Director
Joyce Liu Grey Group Shanghai Account Director
Cici Ao Grey Group Shanghai Account Manager

The Campaign

Branded content in China is not allowed to touch on politics, including content that might potentially stir public unrest or anything that would promote dissatisfaction towards the government. Overly sexual or violent content is also not permitted. TV stations especially have many rules, regulations and levels of approval for content related to brands and products. On the other hand, content featuring celebrities and personalities is usually well received. Consumers tend to react positively to celebrity endorsements, especially celebrities whom they look up to. Celebrities here may not necessary mean big movie stars and pop icons. They can also be bloggers and key opinion leaders online in specializing in various fields such as fashion, food, art, tech gadgets and so on.


People don’t usually think about nuts all that much, let alone what sets them apart. So when our client wanted to distinct walnuts from its competitors, such as almonds and peanuts, we had to find not just a defining characteristic, but also one that truly mattered. As it turns out, just a handful of walnuts a day can give you a memory boost. From there, we formulated our strategy – give students an edge in facing the Chinese Gao Kao. The Gao Kao is one of the most stressful exams in the world, and is considered important enough to determine one’s fate. Over 9 million students take the exam every year, all of which would most certainly welcome a memory boost to aid in their studies. To make our message appealing to the 12-18 year old demographic, we tapped into one of today’s hottest teenage music trends – K-pop (or the Hallyu phenomenon), by forming our own girl group “Recess Princess”, comprising China’s very own Internet starlets. The group became an overnight sensation with their debut hit “Recess for the Mind”, an original song created for this campaign that was also the first ever edu-pop-tainment content. Linked from the music video hosted on Youku, China’s largest video sharing site, the Internet starlets shared study tips and snacking recipes on the brand’s WeiBo channel to help students prepare for their exams.

We partnered with Youku, China’s largest video sharing site, to run our music video on their original content and music channel. It was soon noticed and shared by various bloggers and social media sites. Leveraging on their popularity and social influence we also seeded the music video with each of the Internet starlets most engaging social profile site.

The video reached the Top 3 spot in Youku’s Original Content Chart, China’s largest video sharing site, 13.2 million impressions on CWC Official Weibo during campaign period, resulting in over 3.5 million total views from over 180 countries, 25,000 reposts / retweets, 18,000 likes, comments and interactions. Purchase intent for our client’s product increased to 98% from just over 5% in 2014, while consumer recall rate for California Walnuts rose from 7% in 2014 to 63% today. 70% of Chinese consumers were interested in engaging with CWC online compared to just 25% in 2014.

To talk to Chinese students about the most stressful event of their young lives, we went for content they would watch to get a load off their minds – a cheerful, K-pop-style music video, and created the first ever edu-pop-tainment video. Five local Internet starlets were transformed into China’s overnight pop sensation – a girl group known as “Recess Princess”. Along with Wallie, California Walnut’s mascot, the group sings and dances to our original song – “Recess for the Mind” to give students a break from reality, yet at the same time talk to them about studying. The music video introduced walnuts as a healthier snacking alternative – one that improves their memory and helps them do better in exams. Study tips and snacking recipes were shared on our official Weibo channel linked from the music video on Youku, China’s largest video sharing site, turning the Internet starlets into student tutors and study buddies.